Dear Editor:

As spring quickly approaches, and summer is now beginning to peek through the backdoor, I would like to take the time to say thank you (in advance) to all of the hardworking, awesome residents of Columbia Valley for allowing us Albertans and alike to visit your beautiful valley and enjoy the great people, scenery and all of the blessings it bestows. Unlike some of the articles of Albertans complaining about tickets in the park or lack of good service in the hospitality business or pretty much anything that gets their goat (no pun intended), I would suggest that the majority of Albertans feel very blessed and welcomed by all of the attractions that this valley holds.

As a part-time resident, I feel very lucky to have met so many fantastic residents who have not only become great neighbours, but even greater friends. I feel as though this valley is my home and I feel welcomed. Now for the apology: on behalf of what I believe to be the majority of Albertans who visit this valley, I apologize for the minority of Albertans who feel that the valley owes them something and that they can come here with loads of cash and expect to be treated with silver spoons. I apologize for those Albertans who do not take the time to slow down, enjoy Highway 93/95 and see the live animals in their environment, but drive with reckless abandonment with no regard for other vehicles (B.C. or Alberta). I apologize for those visitors who come to this valley and disrespect all of those around them, whether on a boat launch or while staying at a hotel. Those who chose to get drunk and be an idiot should stay home! There is no room for these people and you have every right to complain about them. We are with you!

After enjoying a part-time residency here for the past seven years, I have seen so many act of kindness by the local residents, people helping each other in lifes troubles. It is refreshing, heartwarming and truly sets this valley ahead of many. Thank you to the local residents who make this place so special. From an Albertan perspective, there is no better place to be than here.

Ralph Barrie